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onlyagaijin

Hakuho's Henka Win

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As a Newbie to the forum, I would like to ask was there, or is there any discussion about Hakuho's deplorable decision of doing a Henka in the final bout of the last tournament?

I personally it was a disgraceful tactic and should be banned as a tactic in the sport!

It's NOT wrestling....

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either henka is allowed, or it is not

until it is banned, it is wrestling

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A henka might not be "Yokozuna behavior", but banning the henka seems extreme. Are you suggesting it should be banned at all levels? It's a wrestling move - it might be a confrontation-avoiding move, but it still requires some wits and talent to pull it off with consistency.

That being said, I'm a bit of an Aminishiki fan, so feel free to totally disregard anything I say.

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How do you ban it? Write me a rule that cleanly bans the henka without problematic consequences. It's also an important counter to overcommitted tachi-ai, in my opinion.

Bah. I hate this conversation

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It's also an important counter to overcommitted tachi-ai, in my opinion.

Exactly. I like the henka for that reason. The possibility of its use should keep a rikishi alert at the tachi-ai. Rikishis, especially more experienced ones, should know that the chance of their opponent pulling a henka is always present. If they fall for it (literally), they have only themselves to blame.

Edited by sekitori

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I agree with the recent posts above. I see it as a legitimate technique that exploits weaknesses in an opponent's tachiai while also putting the henka-er in a vulnerable position if the opponent reads it correctly and/or the henka is poorly executed. It can lead to anticlimactic endings and I certainly wouldn't want to see it every other match, but it's not the only technique like this in my view, and I share Kinta's view that part of the fun of watching someone like Aminishiki is the initial suspense of whether he's going to pull a henka or try something else.

Edited by Katooshu

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The appeal of sumo is its simplicity. Look at Judo now. even judoka don't watch judo. a few years back, the decided to ban lower-body attacks because it "wasn't judo". Because of that judo went from a legitimate contest of who can get the opponent to the ground, to who can execute a limited amount of techniques better.

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Here we go again.....

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I admit the henka in question really comes down to damned if you do, damned if you don't. It takes the excitement out of a match, but it remains legit, similar to the "kachiage" which was utilized often by Oosunaarashi when he first came into Makuuchi. Legal, but can have consequences that may cause injury. While henka doesn't cause injury, it can disappoint the fans. Which is why many people are not fans of it when higher level rikishi resort to it instead of going out full force. Henka can also be seen as a sign of weakness, or desperation. Honestly I think Hakuho did himself by no favors by pulling the henka (even if Hakkaku wants to call it a sidestep) and opened himself up to criticism and also heckling by the crowd. If you're going to do it, you need to be ready for and be able to deal with the reactions that come with said action. Which is why Yokozuna are supposed to have hinkaku when it comes to their behavior and the content of their matches. Though if I'm going to criticize Hakuho for it, then I won't spare his fellow Yokozuna too. Harumafuji is just as guilty, but doesn't seem to get it as often from what I see, perhaps because Hakuho is obviously the more high profile rikishi. Last but not least, as pointed out above, henka can also work against the offender, and can end up losing too. In the end, I'm not a big fan of henka at all, wrestlers should face each other head on, but I also am not going to say that it should be banned, because how are they going to enforce that? Too many matches would end with DQ, and unless it's something really offensive, the JSA would not be doing themselves, the rikishi, or the fans any favors by banning henka. Let the rikishi take the risks and deal with the consequences. They are grown men and can fend for themselves.

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I think they should ban yorikiri. Rikishi rely on it way too much and it's a boring win.

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It's slapping and elbow-in-the-face knockouts that bother me.

I must be a wuss.

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One of the things I really love about Sumo is there's so little that is not allowed.

No hair-pulling, no eye-gouging, no punching, no direct kicking and no messin' with the meat and two veg - after that it's all good!

Hakuho's henka didn't bother me in the slightest. Perfecty legit win as far as I'm concerned, and they're also expected to win, remember. The notion that a Yokozuna should be above such a move is just an idealist fantasy; they all do it from time to time, and they have as long as I've been watching.

Hakuho's ring-edge shenanigans do concern me, though. Those dame-oshis are bang out of order (a dame-nage in the Yoshikaze bout, if there is such a thing), and he really does bring his rank into disrepute when he does that. Never mind warning him after the Basho, Hakuho should have been suspended when he broke Izutsu's leg.

Edited by RabidJohn
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As Hakkaku Rijichao had said, what Hakuho did was more of a natural reaction than of a henka, i.e., it was not a real henka.

The Osaka audiences were angry because Hakuho denied Kisenosato a play-off chance. If Harumafuji had henka-ed Hakuho to win, I don't think those audiences would say a thing.

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If henka is banned, sumo will be very different: at tachiai, everyone just needs to bend down his head and rush forward with all his might...... just like what Harumafuji had done in his last bout with Hakuho :-D

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As Hakkaku Rijichao had said, what Hakuho did was more of a natural reaction than of a henka, i.e., it was not a real henka.

Didn't Hakuho apologise for the henka in his Yusho interview (I was relying on the English translation)?

If Hakuho thought it was a henka, it was real enough.

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The henka will never be banned. It's up to the aite to be aware of the possibility and react to it. Moreover, so many bouts contain semi-henka or quasi-henka or at least not totally straight forward tachi-ai that it would be almost impractical to regulate.

Yes, Hakuho employed a henka. Yes, he apologized for it. And yes, he's still the greatest ever. Time for us to let it go and move on.

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Rikishi at the top level should not be falling to Henka's. Only when they are complacent and not paying attention should it even be an issue.

As Hakkaku Rijichao had said, what Hakuho did was more of a natural reaction than of a henka, i.e., it was not a real henka.

Didn't Hakuho apologise for the henka in his Yusho interview (I was relying on the English translation)?

If Hakuho thought it was a henka, it was real enough.

My reading of what he said, was more like he apologized for disappointing the fans. He did not admit to using the Henka with forethought, like some lower ranked Rikishi do. As Hakkaku stated, it was an subconscious reaction.

But, my Jappenese is extraoridinarily rusty, so I may have misunderstood. Also, I am a huge Hakuho fan and have no problem with his (or anyones) ocasional Henka. So I may be interpeting his words with rose tinted glasses.

Edited by Morningstar

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The henka will never be banned. It's up to the aite to be aware of the possibility and react to it. Moreover, so many bouts contain semi-henka or quasi-henka or at least not totally straight forward tachi-ai that it would be almost impractical to regulate.

Yes, Hakuho employed a henka. Yes, he apologized for it. And yes, he's still the greatest ever. Time for us to let it go and move on.

No, he did not. Even Hakkaku Rijicho did not consider it a henka. Also, Harumafuji's tachiai failed. He actually dashed out of the dohyo all by himself.

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